Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And in gracelessly inappropriate headlines...

Sometime in 2005 I deleted a whole mess of posts to this journal. Never mind the state of my mind at the time, I just deleted stuff and "took a little break." Or "stamped my little feet and stormed off because nobody would play with me."
One of the adventures I deleted was the time I took a friend's Jeep Cherokee -- at his insistence -- and drove down to pick up some of his friends and their pets who had lost their home in Bay St. Louis, where a 30-foot tidal surge had erased the whole town.
My ludicrously self-effacing entry went something like, "I'm no hero, but I drove -- not unlike a hero -- 1500 miles, 300 0f which was through devastation that someday people will say 'looks like Hurricane Katrina.'"
I'm not blaming "Kathleen" whose story is recounted in this typically histrionical Don Cuddy story. I'm blaming the Standard-Times copy editor for believing that any old scary words belong in a headline. Even if you snag them, without comprehension or context, from a quote.Yeah, Katrina's office, maybe

Monday morning, I realized that I had a doctor's appointment to get to about 15 minutes before I was to be there. It wasn't an important appointment, but I hopped into the Tonka and wheeled out of the South Dartmouth estate into what the Mayor of New Bedford eventually called The Hundred-Year Storm of 2008. Which leaves us wide open for Thousand-Year Storms and Several Decades Storms.
Yes, streets were raging torrents that crested at intersections and surged against vehicles, some unlucky enough to stall and submerge.
But I had an 11:15 appointment and so I drove to that appointment, surmising that nearby development had temporarily rerouted some underground vein of the local aquifer, following my regular route, the one that goes right past homes whose basements were suddenly floating in their living rooms because of The Hundred-Year Storm of 2008.
So, while I was explaining to a health care professional that my creatinine levels were stable, a waterspout was splashing down not once but twice in my own watery neighborhood.
And me without my camera and phone.
(I made it safely home just in time to open up the windows and let in the bright sunlight and lovely breeze. I checked the overflow moat in the wine cellar, and everything seemed fine, including the collections storage area. Slight musty smell, but a couple dessicant-in-a-cans will leave the logbooks and lithographs unmolested.)
So, that's why I don't have any pictures of the cool storm the other day.
Thank you.
(If you have a moment, here's a Letter To The Editor that everyone should read.)


bitterandrew said...

Maura saw that on the news the other night and asked if it was in your neighborhood. I said I thought you were closer to Fawrivvah.

Glad you and yours made it through okay.

ThirdMate said...

There's always some confusion. We are South Dartmouth, and Apponogansett or Padanaram Harbor (depending on whose chart you use) is the nearest body of water.

That's where the cyclone whirled, flipping "about seven" vessels. Thanks for thinking of us.

(Incidentally: New Beffit is our "city." We're far enough from Fawrivvah that I don't have to duck when I indignify it.)

bitterandrew said...

Ah, I see. Being a denizen of Boston's northwest suburbs, I tend to think of everything south of the Dorchester gas tank as one big undefined Attleboro-Randolph-Franklin-Dartmouth-New Bedford-Fall River wilderness.

ThirdMate said...

Some swampers have the same problem with the Woburn-Burlington-Lowell-NewHampshire-Nova Scotia geography. Better to stay right here on the fahm, I tell them.

(I still had to laugh as "local" news readers tried to get their shiny teeth around Padanaram. (It's PaydenAIRum.)
PuhDANaram. Pinarum. Pondroom. Pandrum... puh-lease

karie said...


What was that about a gas tank?